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John Mauldin

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John Mauldin is a renowned financial expert, a New York Times best-selling author, and a pioneering online commentator. Each week, over 1 million readers turn to Mauldin for his penetrating view on Wall Street, global markets, and economic history.

November 28th, 2021 | Worth a Thousand Words

Thoughts from the Front Line - Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a good holiday. I’m writing this issue early in the week while enroute to join family in Dallas. Today will be different and I hope you like it.   The charts and comments below are drawn from the “Clips That Matter” feature of our Over My Shoulder service. Because […]

November 21st, 2021 | Shortages Are Relative

Thoughts from the Front Line - n some simplistic economic theories, shortages never happen. Supply and demand for any particular good are always perfectly balanced in a given time and place. If you can’t get what you demand at that moment, you pay a higher price or you demand something else. But that’s theory. The real world doesn’t respond instantly, so […]

November 14th, 2021 | Live from New York, Etc.

Thoughts from the Front Line - I am writing in the middle of a whirlwind week in New York. We are going to discuss what I’m learning, some takeaways from the conversations I’ve had, changes in my personal portfolio, and thoughts around the topic of the day: inflation. As well as a few random things that I have read this week. […]

November 7th, 2021 | Energy Complexity

Thoughts from the Front Line -   If I had to describe my last 500 letters in one word, it would be “complexity.” The older I get, the more I realize problems I once thought had reasonably straightforward solutions are, in fact, hideously complicated. That doesn’t make them unsolvable but it reduces the odds they will be. Often we start with […]

October 31st, 2021 | Trick or Treat Economy

Thoughts from the Front Line - To Jerome Powell and the Fed: It’s a lesson too late for the learning, Made of sand, made of sand. In the wink of an eye, prices are rising In your hand, by your hand. Are you going away with no word of farewell, Will you leave your inflation behind? You should have tightened sooner, […]

October 24th, 2021 | When Tools Stop Working

Thoughts from the Front Line - Because I believe in the division of labor, I rarely use hand tools today. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, I had two 4 x 8 pegboards on my garage wall full of tools along with my large Craftsman toolbox. I had the right tool for every job around the car, house, and yard. I worked […]

October 17th, 2021 | Logistical Sandpiles

Thoughts from the Front Line - At the risk of overusing a favorite metaphor, today we’ll talk about sandpiles. My past sandpile stories focused on financial crises. The same principle holds in any complex system, though. Everything works until suddenly it doesn’t. As Minsky said, stability breeds instability. Then one additional grain of sand triggers a collapse. Today’s financial system is […]

October 10th, 2021 | China’s Gilded Age Is Over

Thoughts from the Front Line - Historical comparisons are always risky. This is particularly so when comparing different eras in vastly different countries like the US and China. Similarities can actually obscure more important differences. Nevertheless, familiar knowledge can help build a framework for understanding. Obviously, present-day China is radically unlike any point in US history. But with that caveat, it […]

October 3rd, 2021 | Xi’s Changing Plan

Thoughts from the Front Line - Six months ago, few Americans had heard of Evergrande. Now many worry this Chinese property developer’s downfall will start an economically devastating chain reaction. They’re right about the chain reaction part, but I don’t think it will “devastate” anyone outside China (unless they have business there). Nonetheless, this episode exposes some other China issues worth […]

September 26th, 2021 | What Could Go Wrong?

Thoughts from the Front Line - I have written several letters on the theme that the best investment posture is cautious optimism. Pessimism and bearishness never get you in the game, while untamed optimism means that at some point, you’ll have a serious setback. The cautiously optimistic investor asks both, “What could go wrong?” and “What could go right?” Dave Portnoy […]

Thoughts from the Front Line - If the inflation numbers leave you scratching your head, join the club. The August data was especially perplexing. The Producer Price Index came in hot, up 8.3% in the last year, inviting 1970s comparisons. Obviously, our current situation is different in many ways. But so were the 1970s, at first. That was last Friday. On […]

September 12th, 2021 | The Return of Stagflation

Thoughts from the Front Line - I have been writing this letter for 22 years. Sometimes I look into the future and other times merely try to explain the present. Today I’m going to look at several possible futures. There are forces at work in both Congress and the Federal Reserve that could take us down radically different paths. There are […]

September 5th, 2021 | Human Capital Losses

Thoughts from the Front Line - Remember math class? Let me give you a quick refresher. In the equation 3 x 5 = 15, the 3 and 5 are factors, and 15 is the product. You can’t have a product without factors. In economics we talk about “factors of production.” If you want to produce something, you need certain factors of […]

August 29th, 2021 | Perfect Storms

Thoughts from the Front Line - Having been Puerto Rico residents for almost three years now, Shane and I have learned a few things about living in the tropics. In Dallas, we didn’t often think about hurricanes, though we did have tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. Ditto for earthquakes. North Texas is pretty stable, geologically speaking. Now hurricanes and earthquakes are part […]

August 22nd, 2021 | Buy Businesses, Not Stocks

Thoughts from the Front Line - I write this letter on my way home from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where I spoke to the fascinating “GoBundance” group of mostly young, successful, enthusiastic entrepreneurs. Before that I was in Grand Lake Stream, Maine, for the Camp Kotok economics/fishing retreat. I’ll have some details for you later. Today we will look back a few […]

Thoughts from the Front Line - Change happens quickly and, often, unpredictably. And as we will see, the unpredictable part is actually a mathematical principle. As in the Hemingway quote above, not just bankruptcy but change also happens slowly and then, seemingly, all at once. It’s time passing without change that causes the worst problems, including some historic economic catastrophes. It turns out […]

August 8th, 2021 | COVID Consumer Headache

Thoughts from the Front Line - If you look just at 2021, it seems the US economy is tearing higher. Real GDP grew an annualized +6.5% in the second quarter, the Commerce Department estimated last week. This follows a similar +6.3% first quarter, and a pandemic-interrupted 2020 that turned out not so bad in the end. The July unemployment report showed […]

Thoughts from the Front Line - “T.S. Eliot once wrote, ‘Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.’ It seems the US financial system is bound and determined to find out.” —John Hussman, July 29, 2021 “If I was Darth Vader and I wanted to destroy the US economy, I would do aggressive […]

July 25th, 2021 | Federal Reserve Folly

Thoughts from the Front Line - Great news: The US economy is officially out of recession. We know this because the National Bureau of Economic Research’s official recession-calling committee said so this week. The economy has been in an expansion phase since last April, making this the shortest recession on record at only two months. The NBER committee always makes these […]

July 18th, 2021 | Xi’s Big Mistake

Thoughts from the Front Line - I have mixed feelings about China. On the plus side, I think the country’s massive economic transformation may be one of the most impressive events in human history. Bringing hundreds of millions from primitive rural lives into relatively prosperous cities within a few years was awe-inspiring. I greatly admire the millions of Chinese entrepreneurs worldwide […]

July 11th, 2021 | TINA Is Stupid

Thoughts from the Front Line - In the 1980s, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher liked to say, “There is no alternative” to her market-driven economic reform ideas. She said it so much people began abbreviating it as “TINA.” Whatever you think of Lady Thatcher’s policies, the slogan was certainly effective politics. If victory is inevitable, you can either cooperate or be […]

July 4th, 2021 | The New Inquisition

Thoughts from the Front Line - It is as essential to democracy that the minority should voluntarily submit to the measures adopted as it is that the majority should voluntarily approve them. Democratic government rests upon the principle that it is better to count heads than it is to break them. The principle is a good one, but unfortunately, men will […]

June 27th, 2021 | Long Humanity

Thoughts from the Front Line - “At the end of the day” is a trite figure of speech, but it sometimes fits. It signals you’ve used all your time, and now you’ll wrap up and begin thinking about tomorrow. I like to say designing the Strategic Investment Conference agenda is my personal art form. There’s more to it than just picking […]

June 13th, 2021 | Politics with No Labels

Thoughts from the Front Line - You can’t always get what you want But if you try sometime you find You get what you need —by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, 1969 There’s no way around it: Investing in public companies is always political. Corporations exist because governments charter these artificial entities and legally shield the owners (shareholders) from personal liability. […]

June 6th, 2021 | Technology Rules

Thoughts from the Front Line - Macroeconomic forecasting is too politicized. I don’t mean that in a partisan sense, though it may be so. The bigger problem is that forecasters spend most of their time thinking about central bank decisions and government policies. In the long run, those aren’t the most important factors. Not even close. What really drives economic progress […]
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